It’s Beginning to Smell Alot Like Christmas

9 12 2007

I made a few sweet treats tonight to share with some friends. A new favorite of mine is the Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you. Definitely delicious!

Yum-oh

Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread

The use of leavening in a cake is first recorded in a recipe for gingerbread from Amelia Simmons’s American Cookery, published in Hartford in 1796; I guess you could say it is the original great American cake. Early-19th-century cookbooks included as many recipes for this as contemporary cookbooks do for chocolate cake. This recipe, from Claudia Fleming, pastry chef at New York City’s Gramercy Tavern, is superlative – wonderfully moist and spicy.

Active time: 20 min Start to finish: 1 3/4 hr

1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness stout
1 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cardamom
3 large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Accompaniment: unsweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in the middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Serve cake, dusted with confectioners sugar, with whipped cream.

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Cue the Dramatic Music

1 12 2007

Cause it’s Winter Storm Warning 2007! This is the view from our office right now:

SNOW





The Christmas Season Has Begun

1 12 2007

Every year since I have moved to Seattle, I have attended the annual tree & Macy’s star lighting downtown (except last year, but that one can’t count). It’s one of my favorite downtown excursions…the day after Thanksgiving, the city shuts down the streets surrounding the retail core and pack Westlake Center full of about 8-10,000 people. There are choirs singing carols, everyone is in a generally good mood, and the city forgets its extreme political correctness for about 45 minutes and just enjoys Christmas.

This year did not fail us! We joined Kristian & Quince this year for the trip on a perfectly clear and cold night. After the star lighting, we dined at Palace Kitchen, one of my top 5 places to eat in the city. So tasty!

We’re now officially ready to kick off Christmas, we can’t wait to get some quality (much needed) family time in. We’ll be there sooooooooon!

(all photography compliments of my sweet husband)

The lights and people in Westlake Center

Lights and people in Westlake Center

Self photos never turn out well. We liked this one, it’s kind of funky! Scott, Kim, Kristian, and Quince:

Friends Self Photo

Macy’s star and the carousel. I so want to ride the carousel. Maybe tonight?

Carousel and Star

Two goofballs.

Cute Couple

During the actual star lighting, there is a big fireworks show while Christmas Carols play over loud speakers. Yes, I cry. Every.single.time. Fireworks still make me cry mom, why?

STAR

I pray that all of you are having a blessed and happy Christmas season!